Daughter Days of Summer

After eight weeks of travel, I am so happy to be home I could just about kiss the floor beneath my writing desk. Spring ran late while I was away, so the terrible, horrible, awful, humidity and heat haven’t yet gotten fired up here in western Maryland. The honeysuckle is blooming, the lightning bugs are due out soon, and I can see raspberries getting ripe on the vine.

country roadsI could write a country song, I’m THAT happy to be home.

But why should this be? I was with my family on the West Coast, with people who’ve loved me literally since before I was born. I was in a beautiful house right on the water, away from the office, able to write for parts of the day, and in the middle of some of the most legendarily pleasant climate ever there was.

That would be some people’s definition of a fine vacation—but not mine.

As I was out walking this evening (ah, honeysuckle!), it occurred to me that compared to some people, I don’t have a lot of identities, particularly not many of what are called La Jollarelational identities. Women in US culture are thought to live longer than men in part because the ladies invest more heavily in relationships, and as a result, aren’t as stressed when things in any one area go wrong.

If our jobs bother us, we turn to friends, our marriage, our family, our church, our volunteer circle, our children, the book club, and so forth for affirmation and meaning. If the marriage is stressed, we can invest in the job, etc. Men apparently invest more heavily and exclusively in work, and so they’re more vulnerable when things go poorly.

These are generalities, of course, and the landscape is changing. My point is that at my parents’ house, it was hard to be anything other than “daughter.” I certainly wasn’t lawyering, I wasn’t neighboring. I couldn’t meet friends for breakfast at Panera, I couldn’t call up a writing buddy for a Starbucks plotting session. I couldn’t hang out of the barn with other horse girls.

Yes, I could write, but something about dealing with Dad’s catheter just did not inspire the old steamy historical muse.

horse girlsMany of my identities—particularly ones I enjoy—were not available to me, and an identity I’ve never quite felt successful at (daughter) was in overdrive. It didn’t help that I was dealing with my parents in a town I’ve loathed since childhood, because that too reinforced the notion that I was busted back to minor child, with no authority over my time.

I’m going to use this in a book—deprive a character of the roles he or she feels comfortable in and comforted by—but mostly I’m surprised by how social I am, and how many different roles I do enjoy in the course of  a “normal week.”

When you’re around family, what changes for you? Are you stronger? Happier? Quieter? How did you notice the change or did somebody point it out to you?

 To one commenter, I’ll send a signed print copy of “Nicholas” and “Ethan.”

 
 

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52 comments on “Daughter Days of Summer

  1. It depends on the sort of family gathering. When we used to have large family gatherings, I got quieter because everyone else was so loud it was hard to be heard. Now, when I go to visit my older sister, I’m happier because I miss her a lot and we have a really good time. I love seeing her kids and grandkids and spending time with her. I’ve noticed the change because it’s really striking how happy I am to be back home with my sister.

    • I love my siblings to pieces, Barbara, and was much happier to be a sibling than a daughter as a younger person. I particularly enjoy getting together with siblings/nieces/nephews one on one, and think they prefer that interaction too.

  2. I think no matter what age you are, you’ll always revert back to your identity of being the daughter when you go home to your parents. Especially when heading back to the place you grew up in. I’m always happier around my family, and that never changes for me because I just feel loved when I’m with them!

    • Anita, my dad packed us all up for the summer when I was six, eight, and eleven, and drove us out to San Diego so he could “guest professor” at either UCSD or Scripps. This felt like penal servitude to me, who’d never experienced a neighborhood where you can hear the phone ring in the houses on either side of you. The result was that I felt UNLOVED rather than loved in this environment.
      I realize I carry those associations around with me, and they’re not rational, but the emotions are still there.

  3. Hi, Grace. My Dad died when he was 58. He was the fun one. I love my mom. We live in the same town, so I see her all the time. She never misses an opportunity to mention my weight. The only self esteem I have I got from my hubby, Jack. I wish she would back off and except me as I am. She’s very judgemental of my sons too. She’s always in Mommy mode even though I’m 61.

    • Susan, our moms must know each other. My mama loves me, even when she’s saying things like, “Don’t worry about having big feet. Every solid structure needs a firm foundation.” Or, my favorite, “You’re lucky, Grace. No matter how fat you get you’ll always have a figure.”

      Huh? The virtuosity of those mixed messages is stunning–and they really are her attempt to be reassuring. My coping mechanism now is, “I’m going to use that in a book!”

      Pass along some of your mom’s gems, and we’ll immortalize those too.

      • Mom says, “Your cousin, Laurie would look cute in that dress, but it’s not for you. You would need a waist. Or You should have seen Dr. Oz yesterday. He was talking about 7 ways to shed those pounds. My fav. ” are you going to eat that?”

  4. Difficult question for me. Empty Nesters for a long time, 2 kids (one of each) a long ways away. No other family left. So – rarely do we get both kids at the same time, So when I do get one of them It is pure JOY…. We talk, we laugh we COOK! I guess you could say, just getting some one on one, gives me so much joy I just spend time beaming from ear to ear and hugging a lot…

    • Georgie, I love being around my 25-year-old daughter because I love her–she’s kind, honorable, funny, sweet, and very, very determined–but also because I like who I am around her. She thinks I’m a good mom, not a perfect mom, and that feels genuine to me.
      I wish she had siblings she knew, but she’ll have to find family of choice in the absence of family of origin.

  5. You always make us really think!! I just read that people are happier if they have no expectations. I don’t normally except I think I always have had high expectations when it comes to people. I want them to care deeply and behave fairly. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work that way. But when it does, it’s a wonderful thing.

    • Jeanne, I am still learning that the people who care deeply and behave fairly (love that phrase) aren’t well equipped to see the other kind coming. My expectations of others are that ingrained–doesn’t everybody play by the rules?!

      No, they do not, and it still surprises and confounds me.

  6. I’ve been living away from my parents for 17 years, but it’s still hard to be the new “myself” when I visit. They were used to me as an 18 year old, but due to our infrequent visits, they haven’t really experienced how many ways I’ve changed since then. It’s easy to fall into my old groove when I go to see them, which I find frustrating.

    • Catherine, I was well into my thirties before I realized my folks were NEVER going to see me as a competent adult (they do now, ironically, because that’s what they need me to be for them, and that’s OK), and that they would henceforth get to be “the baby.” That I was well along the parenting road myself is probably what allowed that insight, and let me appreciate my parents for trying.

      They did and do their very, very best for me, and I have to let that be the where matters stand.

  7. Oh what a question. When I first moved out and then got married my parent’s still lived in the house I was born and raised in. I always felt I was reverted back to little girl when I was over there visiting. It was amazing the difference in my whole demeanor and even my voice was different. Right before I had the twins they moved to a new house closer to us, 15 miles was too far away, and I didn’t notice it as much. I do know when I go over there I am more prone to sit back and let Gramma take over the kids. It could be I’m exhausted when I bring the boys over or it could be that I expect her to be in charge or maybe I’m just LAZY when I get there. Kids definitely changed my relationship with both my parents and my in-laws. As for big family get togethers… I am not a fan of those and tend to sit in the corner, observe and only speak when spoken to. Most of it comes from not having much in common with most of my family members. I have always been the odd one out. Growing up I would stay in my room as much as possible when we had lots of family over. Unless it was my great aunts and uncles visiting from out of state, then I was right there with all of them listening to all the old stories.

    • Sarah, I’d be sitting in a corner with you! Makes me all that much more impressed that you came to Romantic Times, and swam in a throng of noisy, busy, something not quite sober people!

      • Sometimes my family members aren’t quite sober either.

        RT was definitely out of my comfort zone, but I wanted/needed to do it. Maybe to prove to myself that I wasn’t stuck in my role as mom to four. That first night was the worst and after that I made a lot of “friends”, which is very typical of me. Put me in a room full of strangers and eventually they won’t be strangers any more. Someone has to make the first move and talk to me, but after that I completely change. People used to be completely amazed at my personality change when you got me out of the school setting. I used to say I was at school to be a student not to be the life of the party. Take me out of the serious situation and I tend to liven up quite a bit. I don’t really know why that is, but it hasn’t changed in over 30 years.

  8. I think I’m pretty much the same, at least these days. When I was younger (and my father was still alive), I tended to fall back into the old role of trying to please my parents.

    • Janie, I notice that I’m more patient with my dad than my mom, and yet, she’s the one who gave up more to raise their seven children. Sorry you’ve lost your dad, but it sounds like you’ve found your balance since then.

  9. A very difficult ? to answer, I never enjoyed large gathering and yet when given the choice as a young girl, I always opt for the big party with friends and family…today, sad to say I don’t miss it. I enjoy the peace and quiet, the solitude of our lives, and yet at times there are regrets…for we have no children, no pets and I rarely speak to my family… have never truly wanted to go back to the family house, it’s been more than 17 years since seeing my brothers, I even missed the chance to see my dad before he passed away…I always made sure that husband saw his family or we spent the summers at the family’s farm house…or traveled the coast of Washington State during school breaks…content to spend my days with Harry.

    • Juanita, it’s not lost on me that I’m the one going to see my siblings, 95 percent of the time. Yes, I’m through the child-rearing years, and yes, I like to roadtrip, but the idea that they’d drive for two days to see me…?

      On the other hand, where would I put them? My house is small and not laid out for privacy, and I’d honestly rather sit at my dining room table and write than go do the Washington DC sights again.

      You’d rather be with Harry, and most days, I’d rather be with the Windhams, the MacGregors, and their friends and neighbors.

  10. As the oldest of five, I love being with my family. Dad died 16 years ago and Mom is 80. For the past 10 years we have made the effort to get together at a park outside Syracuse, NY. We have rented 5 cabins each family has its own space and Mom bunks with us. There have been as many as 19 of us gathered. My nieces and nephews have gotten to know one another (they live in GA, TX, FL, OH, and NY) . My favorite time is early morning when my siblings and I walk together and have a chance to talk. This year my youngest sister and I are the only siblings to be staying (graduations are breaking up that gang of ours) . Our week together starts next Saturday and I have been feeling sad that we won’t all be together (typically the only time all year that we can get together) . After reading some of the previous comments, I feel blessed to have the family I have and have resolved to enjoy the family time we have next week. My Mom will be there and now is the time to enjoy her company while we can. I will always be her daughter, but now we interact as adults. My Mom (and Dad) always encouraged us to become all that we can be.

    • My family does reunions every three years or so because one brother has taken on all the planning and logistics to make it happen. The seven siblings sit around and mutter about how this is really for the cousins, who wouldn’t know each other without these get togethers.

      And yet, it’s the older generation–we seven–who are up the latest getting to know nieces and nephews, telling stories on each other, and hauling out old, old slides of childhoods past.

      The stories are the best, best part, so I wish you many stories with your sister this year, and with Mom.

  11. Being the youngest of 3, with several years between my closest sibling and myself, I have always been quieter when around my family. I didn’t realize until I was well into my thirties that I always allowed family members to speak their opinions (often quite loudly in my family) and would just not say anything – whether I agreed or strongly disagreed. The one time that I can remember going against the established pattern and stating an opinion that I felt strongly about but others did not agree with cause so much disruption that I have yet to do it again. I stick with sharing my “real self” with the new family that I have created. It bothers me that it took so long for me to grow up and speak up. Things probably would have been different if I had been speaking up all along.

    • Marion, my understanding is that we each adopt roles within our family of origin. This one’s the dreamer, that one the cheer leader, the other the pragmatist. When somebody steps out of role, the entire family structure feels threatened, and yet, those family roles are often what the family needed us to be, not what we genuinely are.

      Your solution, finding family you can be honest with, sounds optimal. Good on you!

  12. I definitely change at family gatherings and each family I visit makes me act differently. With my own parents, I am confident and take charge. But my parents have called me “the boss” since childhood. At my extended family gatherings (both my parents have lots of siblings) I tend to be quiet, trying to be respectful and helpful. At my husband’s family, I tend to be a little sarcastic, trying to get them to laugh. It all comes down to my desire to please and have others “like” me. I try to be what they want me to be. It is still ME, but only small parts of ME at a time.

    • Catherine, I’d say you described me–are you the sixth out of seven? When I’m with family, I step into whatever role the family needs, be it jester, cleaning lady, scribe (ahem), or rebel. I haven’t figured out if I’m that afraid the family will fall apart, that anxious to hide my genuine self from them, or that instinctively flexible.

      I do know family gatherings exhaust me, and as a result of everybody’s posts here, I will approach them more thoughtfully in the future.

      • I am the baby of the family with only one older brother. But because both my parents each have six or seven siblings, I have more cousins than I can count. Some much older than me. I know I always wanted their approval most of all. I wanted them to include me in whatever they were up to. That more than anything fueled my cameleon like ways. If I filled a certain role, they would let me tag along. Is it flexibility? Is it fear? Probably a little of both.

  13. Funny you should mention this…I am in such a conflict right now. Due to career change at a “ought-to-know-better” age, illness, and other stuff, I have moved into my grandmother’s house with my older sister. While I am grateful for the help with the financials, I have been reduced to baby sister status. I have had my own household since I was 16. I was married at 25 and then a single parent. I have always been very independent and the chief decision maker. Having my role of bossy-britches taken from me…well, I want to run screaming, naked through the back pasture! As I don’t have a pasture, I have to keep all this frustration inside. It is beginning to have an affect on me. My co-workers have commented on how withdrawn I’ve become, and how quiet. And depressed. That is not my personality. I have also put on weight, which is always a sign of unrest somewhere in my life. I don’t have very many close friends. I know a lot of people, but not anyone I can vent to about this. It makes me sound very ungrateful and selfish. But it is hard.

    • Where’s a supportive older bro when you need one? Sorry you’re being painted into an uncomfortable corner, Tracey, and hope it’s temporary. I wonder how your sister feels, and if there aren’t sentiments she’s keeping bottled up too.

      I don’t have many friends either, and (other than my books) I don’t have what sociologists call a “third place,” somewhere that isn’t home or work, where you can be yourself.

      For some of us, it’s church, others the gym. I’ve had it from time to time at the horse barn, and I know others who get it at the pub, particularly on darts night.

      I wish you that safe, accepting place, and a future that puts you back in the britches that fit you best.

    • Tracey, I had a major crisis in my life a few years back and moved in with little (bossy) sister and 90 percent of it was fine because we get each other’s habits, but she gets bent up about things and would turn on me sometimes, accusing me of ruining her frying pans (I was doing all the cooking and she was referring to my favorite of her pans which I wasn’t ruining). Then she’d check for plate chips just in case I was banging them together. and I was like OMG my sister’s losing her mind. But surprisingly enough, I accept it’s her house, don’t do anything to ‘change’ things around (although I itch to move furniture…but then I pick up a book and it goes away), and the advantages of sharing resources is a huge plus for both of us. But yeah, sometimes I want to run away to a house of my own.

  14. I loved and adored my mother and father. They weren’t perfect by any means since alcoholism runs rampant in my family so whether you drink or not, you are affected, usually by being a bit squirrely about odd things and not all of us have been lucky in love. Anyway, I am the fourth of six (and apparently there is a secret club for 4/6ers and I am a member) so technically, I’m a middle child, but actually I was the baby of the family then my parents had twins which are an extremely hard act to follow. so I had issues. But today, we four sisters are more like girlfriend sisters and three of us FINALLY live near each other and there’s one holdout in NYC. I treasure my sisters and admire them for their successes – but don’t think for a minute that we aren’t all miz bossypants. We have a pecking order on who gets to be the boss. my older sister is head boss. my twin sisters think they are the bosses of the world. I have natural boss tendencies but I’m so lazy which tempers any strong desires to rule the world. But I will not say we don’t fall into the old categories (which I find extremely annoying) of the smartest, the fastest, the brattiest, the baby, etc. Being 4/6, however, I can’t keep it inside so when they get on my nerves I start howling which is so annoying they will do anything to shut me up. (see, I make old patterns work for me, too, LOL) The best gifts our parents gave us were good examples of keeping family an important part of our lives – they were close to their brothers and sisters, that they thought it was important we all go to college, and they loved to read and passed that gift on to all of us.

  15. I’m terribly introverted and uncomfortable around people I don’t know well. The office get-togethers make me break out in hives. But something else happens to me when I’m with my family. I’m more chatty (although I’ll never be a chatterbox) and feel very happy and comfortable around them. My mom is gone now, so most of the family functions are at our house. Maybe that comfortable feeling comes from being around people since birth and just growing up together, or watching their children grow up.

    • Bonnie, my oldest brothers are thirteen years my senior, and there’s comfort in knowing that as long as they’re around, I’m a little sister. At seventy-two, God willing, I will still be a little sister, and they will still be big brothers. I like that.

  16. Grace about the only family I’m around or socialize with any more is my daughter and her family. For the last few months I’ve been spending one day a week with DD and her kids, just the youngest two to begin with then the oldest three would join us after they got out of school. We’re usually all together until somewhere between 5 and 8 pm when they drop me off then go pick up her hubby from work after he gets off at 9pm. I enjoy this time getting to know the grandkids even better and being able to watch them grow. The youngest, and only boy, turns 7 months today and he’s already trying to walk.

  17. I so get what you are saying. I am also impressed that you are such a student of people and behavior. I can see why I loved your book (The Bridegroom Wore Plaid). Being how I’ve just passed through what you are going through right now, although I did it alone without help, I understand.

    Today I’m going to celebrate Father’s Day at the house I grew up in. We moved there days before my 3rd birthday and I lived there until I left for my 4th year of college (it took me 5 2/3 years as I changed majors and universities). My daughter and her long term boyfriend live there now and they are hosting the BBQ. We shall see how my behavior/thoughts go today. The house is the same but different and as this is the first Father’s Day without my Dad it will be interesting.

    I celebrate your being home and pray for you often with dealing with your parents. We love them and it’s hard to see the decline…

    • Thanks for the prayers–they must have been why, when my tailpile fell off in the Hoosier Forest, three nice young guys in farmer tans were on the spot and knew exactly what to do to get me back on the road.

      And yes, it’s hard to see Mom and Dad fading, but also inspiring. I’ve started jogging again since coming home…

  18. I am an only child so I cant speak of sibling relationships but my parents have always been my best friends and biggest supporters (even when we disagree on the little things). I avoid as many “family functions” as humanly possible to be completely honest. The bulk of my relatives (with the exceptions of relatives that are kind (about 40% of them are kind)) are all about “keeping up with the cool people”, creating drama, and putting others down for things that they know their “target” (as I affectionately call those of us on the receiving end of the comments they make) are most likely to be insecure about, and their condescending to boot. However during the times when I have no choice but to be at a family function I keep to the corners of the group and only speak to those that address me first (out side of the arrival greetings type stuff when everyone is crowding by the entrance way). I like being social and mingle with others ( I am a laid back, playful, comedian type) but find I become very guarded, serious, observant, and very awkward when interacting with them. I noticed this trend as a kid maybe 10 or 12 years ago and found it was kid of like a ” safety blanket” of sorts.

    • Sammy, sounds like you are your complete opposite around these people. Interesting. Maybe you’re like me, more inclined to one on ones with the people you like than the whole fam-damily together.

      • That is so true when it comes to my interactions with my extended family members. When its one on one its easier for me to just tune them out (much harder to do when they are in groups) when they get into their mean spirited ways. Thankfully family functions never go over 5hrs and when there over my classical music collection on my mp3 player to zone out to.

  19. They’re a lot of stress in my family between siblings so I find myself quieter when around most of them. But I do have one sister that I can open up to about anything. Thank goodness. 🙂

  20. I realised quite a few years ago that I was two people The ‘normal’ not very successful, no real talent person that my family saw, and the brilliant, talented writer and understanding counselor that my friends knew. Took me a while to realise that the real one was not my family’s image of me. Even now as I happily started writing after a cancer diagnosis, it is my friends who support me. My brother and sister with whom I live literally shut off as soon as I start talking about my writing. As a child and young adult I was always made to feel that my opinion was less important than anybody else’s. When I rebelled against that in my 20s I had an opinion about everything and everybody had to hear about it. Nowadays, I try to be more of a peacemaker, especially when avoiding internet flame wars, and understand everybody has the same rights to their opinions as me. I suppose it comes from reconciling all those parts of me to know who the real Karen is.

    • Karen, the pull of the tribe is strong, and as small children, we somehow get that if the tribe survives, our chances go up too. I tend to be what the family needs–sometimes silly, sometimes honest, sometimes a logistician–and that flexibility takes over in other group situations too. Now I’m working on the next step–feeling the flexibility kick in, and giving myself space to think about how much I want to yield to it.

      Write yourself through this illness, my friend. The one bunch of people who do NOT suffer depression are cancer survivors. You travel the depths of the Pit, and turn it into a journey to the Mountaintop. I want to read all about it, you hear?

  21. Interesting question. I was shy and the watcher and appreciator in my quick witted theatrical family. Later I excelled in a field none of them had an educated understanding for: visual art. They all appreciated my actions from afar. When I accidentally stepped into writing (while doing visual art) one intellectually proud and verbal sibling could not read the words I’d printed. Her emotional body rebelled from allowing her to see me in a guise that she’d never expected me to handle. I am not sure if she was embarrassed or jealous. Maybe a mix. No matter how much I argued with her to show her that I had the ability to think (!) she wanted to put me back into that long ago bubble of “sibling who laughed and appreciated everything she said, but didn’t have much to say of her own”. I realize now that it is a rare person who can allow a family member to be other than what they have always seen them to be, and that we cling to the fantasies of our youth. When I go home my family expects me to quietly watch and listen and laugh at their wise stories. I do. My rebellion is that I keep feeding them my talent from afar, so that when I see them I know that they know that I am more than the simple person that they pretend that they see.

    By the way, it does feel good to listen to what thrills my family members. My theatrical sisters are not changing personality when they come “home”. They are home wherever they go. Lucky extroverts!

    • Leigh, I’m pretty sure if I had a familiar cheer leader close at hand, I wouldn’t want her breaking ranks on me either. I’d probably learn to rely on that upbeat, affirming, interested sibling, and grieve terribly if she ever broke role.

      None of which excuses a failure to listen to you, or SEE you on their part.

  22. Hi Grace,
    I am totally in love with your books. I just discovered “you” and love it!!!

    Now to answer your question:

    “When you’re around family, what changes for you? Are you stronger? Happier? Quieter? How did you notice the change or did somebody point it out to you?”

    I live with my family. After more than 20 years away from home (really away… in another country!) my mom, 2 sisters and 2 nephews moved in with me 5 years ago. Its a zoo some days. Its tough to be single, never married, having sisters that are also single and have kids being from a culture that tends to place a value on marriage above all…
    I work, take care of my family BUT I am still not very successful in my mom’s eyes… I have to take care of her and be very attentive or I am not a good daughter… I have to be stronger and make sense of things… that is what is expected regardless of my age, my wants etc… you see I am a single daughter and don’t have kids…
    But for the past year I have changed so much. I have become tough, I am not giving my opinions and I told my mom that she has to decide things for herself… she is able and capable of deciding things without me…
    I have wonderful friends that are a great support! I love my job – I am a visiting Nurse- love the fact that I can make a difference for my patients! So I see all kinds of family dynamics and its interesting to learn from those experiences.
    I have a good relationship with my youngest sister… in my family the middle one is the problem… I am the oldest and of course I am wonderful 🙂 ha, I am being delusional! 🙂
    Its tough to live with your siblings and mom when you are an adult – specially after living on your own for 20+ years…

    • Good lord, you’re another one who ought to be writing a book! And I get that business about because you’re the single daughter… my mom STILL tells me I might meet the “right” man some day.

      Erm…

      And someday, I could write “real” books. Mom is sure I have the ability to do it if I’ll just work hard, and put aside all these distractions (by which she means romance novels and a day job).

      She’s trying to be as kind to me as she can without saying outright, “I didn’t go wrong anywhere as a mom, but it’s too bad about you…”

      Mothers.

  23. Families are a mix of strange. Family are the ones who pick up the phone when you call at 2:00 AM and still want to remember your birthday. The ones who would miss you if you are gone and want to know what you are thinking of just because its Tuesday. All the rest are relatives.

    In my case, being one of a group, I find that it is harder for people to listen. Strangers spend more time with my relatives than I. My relatives see someone as one dimensional and never try to learn the nuance and layers of personality. My relatives would rather talk about someone behind their back than bring problems or concerns out in the open. They argue rather than discuss. When I was younger, I wounded others by very plain speaking. Now my presence in the house oversets them to the point of irrationality. Who are you talking to and what did you say?

    I find myself unable to reach them on any level as a person. Once they form a picture of idea of who you are – it is a locked in state unable to change – Whether it is accurate or not. I visit relatives rarely and call never. When I do visit, I am very careful in manner, speech and appearance. It’s almost like being on stage under a spotlight. I don’t feel stronger to have made it through the visit, I just feel relief.

    It makes going home to my true family glorious!

    • Stephanie, you’re doing something right if coming home to your true family feels glorious. There are some families/office groups/volunteer orgs that can only bond around conflict. I’ve even come across churches built like this, and unless I’m in my professional mediator role, nothing makes me hit reverse faster.

  24. I was always a shy child so when family or stranger’s were around I would hide in my bedroom. At family picnic’s I
    would stay close to my mother or grandmother. All of my
    family made comment’s to my mother but she just said I would
    out grow it.

    I am not as shy now but I still do not like to be around stranger’s and will not talk to them unless they say something
    first to me. My husband talks to everyone and I once said that I did not think I could find someone that could out talk my mother but I think my husband had her beat.

    Our daughter Tami as a toddler would talk or go to anyone so we had to watch her but our son Michael was worse than I was
    in being shy. It’s funny because Tami’s daughter Grace from 6 months to 3 years would cry if a stranger came up to us and said anything to her. She is 5 1/2 now but still acts shy but does not cry. Her brother Thomas 17 months old acts shy but smiles at everyone. Michael’s son Jonathan 5 1/2 and daughter Abby 3 years old are both shy but are very attached to there mother and do not like strangers.

    I do not know if you get being shy comes from your parents or if it just the way you are. My parents were not shy but I am not sure if they were as a child.

    Being a little shy is good and better than being too bold and makes a good story but not too shy.